Tips for Growing Tomatillos in Containers

Growing tomatillos in containers is surprisingly easy if you have sun, good potting soil, and an extra large pot. Tomatillos are not only tasty and make fabulous salsa, they are gorgeous and exotic looking. The flowers are a pretty yellow and when the tomatillo fruit first appears it looks like a tiny Chinese lantern – delicate and translucent. While tomatillos require similar care to tomatoes, they are much more forgiving.

They are fairly drought and heat tolerant and  are much less susceptible to blights and fungus.

I have grown both purple and green tomatillos and don’t see a huge difference, other than color. I generally grow Toma Verde.

 Tomatillos are big and sprawling plants. They also need lots of water. To have the best chances for success growing tomatillos, get the biggest container you can and fill it up with a good quality potting soil. You want to use a large pot, because the more potting soil you use the better the moisture retention will be, and the happier the plant. You can use almost any container that that is big enough to hold at least a cubic foot of soil, and has drainage holes or that you can create drainage in.

One of my favorite containers to use for growing container garden vegetables is a big Smart Pot.  A large reusable grocery bag, or any large conventional flower pot would work too. One of my favorite ways to grow tomatillos is in a grow box, as it is easier to keep the plants hydrated.

Tomatillos are easy to start from seed, but if you live in a colder climate it is recommended that you start your seeds indoors about 4 weeks before the last frost. That way the seedlings will be ready to harden off and then plant when the weather gets to be at least 50 °F at night.

If you buy seedlings plant them (after you have hardened them off), making sure to plant them so the crown of the plant (where the plant meets the soil and the roots start) is at at the same level as it was in the nursery pot.